Feb 26, 2016 | Featured Web Article

Winter Bird Feeding Tip: The Benefits of Suet

Eastern bluebirds are just one species that will gorge on suet dough when it is offered at a backyard feeding station.

Feed your birds suet. While most humans don't want a lot of fat in their diet, for birds in winter, fat is an excellent source of energy. Suet is, simply, fat. More specifically, it’s the fat that forms around the kidneys of beef cattle. Butchers remove this stuff, and back when every neighborhood had a butcher shop, they used to give it away to bird watchers. Then grocery stores got smart and started selling suet. You've probably seen it: large chunks of white fat wrapped in plastic in the meat case. Birds love suet, and it is especially valuable to insect-eating species during the winter, when insects are scarce or absent from much of the continent. Woodpeckers, bluebirds, warblers, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, wrentits, jays, thrashers, mockingbirds and even sparrows and towhees are all big fans of suet.

What do you think? Tell us!

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • I’ve been enjoying goldfinches eating coneflower/ echinacea seeds in my new pollinator garden! I will leave the plants out all winter for them if the seeds keep that long? Or should I deadhead and put them in a dry area? Im in CT and thought they migrated, but didn’t know they put in winter coats! What do they eat in winter without bird feeders?
    by Anne Sheffield, Sat, 04 Sep 2021
  • Hi Gary, I will pass your question along to Birdsquatch next time I see him. He knows infinitely more about nocturnal wildlife than I do. Where do you live? That's pretty important in figuring out the answer. But the thief could be raccoons, deer, or flying squirrels. Do you live in the woods? Are there trees near your feeder, or must the culprit climb a shepherd's hook or pole? Dawn Hewitt, Watching Backyard Birds
    by Dawn Hewitt, Mon, 30 Aug 2021
  • This breaks my heart. God strengthen your spirit and comfort your heart.I am fortunate to be taking a vacation next month, hopefully before sky high inflation hits and I can no longer afford it.
    by Ironweeds, Fri, 27 Aug 2021
  • What is emptying my jelly feeder overnight.
    by Gary Vandervest, Wed, 25 Aug 2021
  • Thank you, Dawn. I'm close enough to Ohio (Ann Arbor, Michigan) that I went ahead and took my tubes down and scoured clean all my bird baths. I won't put up my tubes this winter, just my trays and safflower only just to keep the bullies away for a while.
    by Pat Moore, Mon, 09 Aug 2021